What should I start my mare with?
Just wondering what type bit should I start my mare in? Or should I use one of those bitless bridles? (I have no idea what they are called lol) Or some kind of hackamore?
Just some background information..She is a 4 year old and to my knowledge never had a bit in her mouth. Was told she was sat on and had a saddle on :)
put a mild bit in her mouth like a happy mouth or a rubber bit, they are the best for starting out with training, and make sure you take your time the first time you put it its mouth they can be super sensetive :)
I always like to start with a simple snaffle, introduce it in steps as she'll probably toss her head before taking the piece of metal in her mouth. I don't know anything about the bridleless or hackmores, sorry! I have been told that it's better to start out in the bit and get them started and understanding the leg cues and that it means to turn, then as the colt becomes more finished, you can teach bridleless (they will be responding of the leg cues). I would say find something that works for her and stick with that until she's more mature and understands things. That way it's less confusing with mixing things up.
Try a rubber bit first. If she rejects the bit, put a little molasses on it and gently try to get her to take it. If she takes it in her mouth, don't rush to put the head piece on. Let her investigate the bit, and then when she's comfortable, slowly slip the head piece on. Everyday let her sit with the bridle in her mouth under your supervision and then you can start teaching her the turning and all that.
Never ever start your horse off bad with something, because it will then be likely the horse will have a problem with that thing later on.
Put a good quality mild steel snaffle in her mouth. Don't mess around with it just get it on and then leave her alone with it for a while. She's not going to like it but that is not her perogotive. She will fight it a little but she will get to the point where she knows how to give to the bit pressure then as long as she gets the release from the pressure she will get lighter and lighter. If you release too soon or too late she will get heavy and develope bad habits.
I always start horses in a french link loose ring. Its gentle, and fits the contours of most horse's mouths better. Just keep in mind that every horse is different, and just because one bit worked and/or fit in one horses mouth doesn't mean that it is the bit for you and your horse. Definately start with something very gentle, and work from there. Personally I am not a huge fan of hackamores, or bitless bridles, but I have used hackamores before, and I did ride a horse for a while who didn't do so well in a bit, so I started riding him in a jumping hackamore, and he did awesome.
I would like to see her started in a rope halter or similar, meanwhile you could be mouthng her while grooming with happymouth type bit
We start with their halter. They understand the pressure. Once stop, back and turns are established, then we introduce a bit.
First bit is typically a loose ring snaffle. We attach the reins to the halter and allow the horse to work the bit. When the horse quiets, we snap the reins on the bit and proceed.
any mild snaffle will do. i personally dont like using loose rings right at first but thats just me. i would but the bridle on like its no big deal, then [if shes good tying] let her stand tied & figure life out a bit. ALSO before you ride with a bridle [if thats how you choose to start] i would lunge her in side reins [they can be loose] so she gets used to the pulling of the reins & doesnt fight them
Side reins are a short cut.
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